3: Rams will not sign nor draft a kicker, but will sign 2 rookie kickers after the 2024 NFL Draft
The LA Rams are very frustrated over the state of their not-very-special special teams in 2023. And they have a right to be frustrated. But let's be clear. The Rams did not do ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn any favors whatsoever. The Rams front office failed to extend a single veteran special teams specialist for 2023, which meant that Blackburn had to do a phenomenal amount of work just to assemble a special teams core.
In terms of identifying and adding players, I am content with punting phenom Ethan Evans, who not only showed off his hydraulically-powered punting in 2023, but also handled the Rams kickoff duties. And as far as undrafted long snapper Alex Ward, he was fine until he fell to injury. That led to less than ideal situations in terms of getting punts blocked.
But the real burr in the saddle for Rams fans was the state of the Rams starting kicker. The Rams started OTA and the 2023 Rams Training Camp with rookie kickers Christoph Dunn and Tanner Brown. Dunn was dismissed quickly. But Brown struggled in his final preseason game, which prompted his release. The Rams then added K Brett Rypien, then K Lucas Havrisik, then back to K Brett Rypien. The Rams then signed former K Tanner Brown to a Reserve/future contract for 2024.
So where doe that leave the Rams?
Many believe that the Rams will either sign a veteran FA kicker in 2024, or draft a top rookie kicker prospect. But I am not convinced that either path is part of the Rams strategy. There are too few veteran FA kickers who will test their FMV in free agency this year. And the Rams may not view kickers in the 2024 NFL Draft as worthy of selection in Round 6 (the Rams do not have a pick in Round 7 at this time).
That means that the Rams are likely going to go back, Jack, and do it again. That means signing two kickers after the 2024 NFL Draft and letting them compete for the starting role. What about Tanner Brown? While I believe that the job is his to lose, the Rams trialed three kickers in 2020. I believe that they will trial three kickers in 2024 as well.